Sunday, February 27, 2011

This Is Your Time Here

If you take some time to think about it, there are probably about three kinds of folks in the world…

1. Those who constantly relive the past
2. Those who are always thinking about what they want in the future
3. Those who can’t see past the next weekend

Which one are you?

I think I’ve been number two for most of my life. On the other hand, I do probably spend too much time reminiscing about what used to be as well.

When you’re living in the past, you spend an inordinate amount of time wondering about what might have been, or kicking yourself for wrong decisions. You walk yourself through past situations and events over and over again; reliving glories that were, or almost were, and wishing you could go back and do it again.

Where’d my life go? Am I really this old? I wish I could go back.

Reminds me of the song Flies on the Butter by Wynona Judd

You can dream about it every now and then
But you can’t go home again

When you’re always focused on the future, you are never content with what you have in front of you. All you can think about is what you don’t have and wish you did. I need a bigger house. I need a nicer car. I need a better job. More money. More toys. Prettier wife. More handsome husband. There’s always something else.

I know guys who’ve spent years upon years working 7 days a week and 10 or 12 hours a day. What’s the point? Can you ever arrive where you want to be? Why earn all that money and never have a chance to actually live your life?

Reminds me of George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life”

He was so busy looking for his future that he couldn’t see the life he was living right in front of him.

Some folks don’t seem to care about the past or the future, but are completely focused on what makes them feel good at the moment. They don’t care if cigarettes cause cancer. They want that drag. They don’t care if someone gets pregnant. They want that sex. They don’t care if they hit someone with their car. They want that buzz. They don’t care about heart disease or diabetes. They want those fries…all the time…everytime.

They live in the moment…but, only in the moment. No foresight. No hindsight.

Reminds me of some lines from Life’s Been Good by the Eagles:

I go to parties
Sometimes until four
It's hard to leave
When you can't find the door

It's tough to handle
This fortune and fame
Everybody's so different
I haven't changed

They say I'm lazy but it takes all my time
(Everybody sing) Oh yeah (Oh yeah)
I keep on going guess I'll never know why
Life's been good to me so far baby,
inside the Sad Cafe.

You may be wondering what has gotten me thinking about this. Let me explain. About a week and a half ago, I was asked to perform the eulogy for my sister-in-law. In that role, I shared some thoughts during the funeral, and then I also had some closing thoughts at graveside. In those closing remarks, I wanted to encourage those mourning to move past the pain of the moment, and focus on the future; on what could be. I wanted them to realize that they cannot change what has happened, but they could go on with their lives and make a difference with their future. In doing so, I shared the following lyrics from John Mellencamp’s Your Life is Now.

See the moon roll across the stars
See the seasons turn like a heart
Your father's days are lost to you
This is your time here to do what you will do

Your life is now
In this undiscovered moment
Lift your head up above the crowd
We could shake this world
If you would only show us how
Your life is now

Would you teach your children to tell the truth
Would you take the high road if you could choose
Do you believe you're a victim of a great compromise
'Cause I believe you could change your mind and change our lives

Your life is now
In this undiscovered moment
Lift your head up above the crowd
We could shake this world
If you would only show us how

Your life is now

To me, Mellencamp’s message is to recognize that the past is the past. We have this moment we are in to make a difference in this world. We need to think about what difference we can make and take action. It is the balance of all three viewpoints from above. We learn from the past. We think about what kind of future we want to see. We live in the moment with a view toward that future.

It is always a challenge to make a difference…to make your life count toward something worthwhile. But, God gives each of us talents, strengths, and gifts to use to make a positive difference in our communities and our world. 1 Peter 4: 10 - 11

Here’s a link to someone I heard last weekend that I think is doing what he can to use the talent that God has given him to make a difference:

It is a challenge to me. Is it a challenge to you?  Are you ready to make a difference?

This is your time here to do what you will do.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

WMBO-Fitness Update-Weeks 7 & 8

A Grand Canyon side hike during my 2005 rafting trip.

The Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon.  About 7 miles from river to rim.

Mt. Rushmore through a rock crevice

Devils Tower in Wyoming

A real snake in the grass.  I don't have to worry about those too much on Hickory Road.
To my dear readers, I need to make two apologies.  First, for not writing an update last week.  I traveled to Gatlingburg, TN with the church youth group, and there just wasn't a good opportunity to post.  Plus, when I got back home, I was way too tired.  Secondly, for not posting any new pictures from my walking this week.  I hope you enjoyed the "replacements."  You see, I took my camera with me today, and I had every intention of finding something at least moderately creative to post, but I ran into a snag.  I settled on my first shot, and I took my camera out of a pocket, but it wouldn't turn on.  As I fumbled with it, I noticed that it was literally coming apart.  Upon closer examination, I found that five out of the six TINY screws that hold it together were missing.  Frantically, I reached down into my pocket and I found one in the bottom.  I suppose that the other four had come out at other times in other places and this last one was the one that let it come apart.  So, here I am standing on a cold, county road corner trying to put a tiny little screw back into the side of my Sony Cybershot....when....can you guess?....Yep....I dropped the stinking little screw.  So, no new pics this week.

But, the good news is that I found five tiny screws in a glasses repair kit at home and the camera is back together and ready for next week.

The last two weeks held some ups and downs for me with regards to my fitness goals.  For those of you who may not have seen my original posting, I am attempting to cover 2011 miles in the year 2011 by either walking, running, or cycling.  Along the way, I hope to feel better, and lose a good deal of weight.

Anyway, I have walked fairly consistently the last couple of weeks.  I also played some basketball last night.  It felt good to be on the court even if I'm way too slow, get winded really quickly, and can leap even less than I used to be able to....and that wasn't much.  I also went to the doctor this week, and my cholesterol is down well into the good range, my blood pressure is excellent, and I had lost weight since my last visit.  Plus, I have added an inch of size to both of my calves.  This is good news because it shows that I am regaining strength lost after my Achilles surgery.

The bad news is that I made a number of pretty bad food choices in the week.  Pizza twice.  The youth group trip included two hamburgers, fries, a rueben sandwich, and two McDonald's fish fillet sandwiches.  Bad Mike, Bad Mike, Bad Mike!!!!!


Weight:  256.2 lbs.  This is down 2/10ths since my last report, but up 2/10ths from my unreported last weigh in.  This week represents the first weight gain since I started this program, and it a direct result of my bad food choices last week.  This is me kicking myself in my oversized booty.

Mileage:  71.6 miles completed.  Miles to go:  1939.4

Time to sign off and post this.  Look for another post from me in the next day or two.  I've got a concept for a spiritually-focused post on the front burner of my mind.

See you on the road...hopefully with some new pictures next time.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Rhythmic Shots of Unexpected Love

Rhythmic Shots of Unexpected Love
In a darkened kitchen
Head leaned against a cabinet
Fatherhood begins

Dirty diapers
Runny noses
Cries in the night
Singing silly songs
Punkin and Sweetie Muffin

Shots of unexpected love tapping a tempo

Tottered steps
Shoulder rides
Potty chairs
Slobbery kisses
Ish, Pacey, or Happy?

Tap tap, Tap tap

Power Rangers
Barney the Dinosaur
Preschool Crushes
Sally, our dog
Camping at Jellystone

Boom boom, Boom boom

Grand Canyon
First bicycle
Playing in the sand and the surf
Blueberries in the woods
Kings Island

Shots of unexpected love tapping a tempo deep into my soul

Middle school awkwardness
High school beauty
River rafting and June snowstorms
Growing independence
Faith in bloom

A heart swollen with pride pumping rhythmic shots of unexpected love; tapping a tempo deep into my soul

 High school ends
College begins
Fatherhood doesn’t end
But friendship begins

Tap tap, Boom boom

Oh, is it truly possible for the love in my heart to keep up with this ever growing tempo?

And the rhythm will grow, as long as my beautiful daughters continue to grace my life with their delicate presence

My heart still swells with pride each time I think of my daughters and the love I feel still courses through me with an unexpected rhythm; tapping out its tempo deeper and deeper within my soul

I feel it now
I will feel it forever

For Angela and Andrea—the musicians of a father’s love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

A heart swollen with pride pumping rhythmic shots of unexpected love

Sunday, February 13, 2011

WMBO-Fitness Update-Week Six

I guess I'm intrigued by interesting mailboxes.  This one is mounted on an old waterpump.  I just think it is cool.

This is an old red brick church in Acton, Indiana.  They pretty much don't make 'em like this anymore.

So, why did the ant cross the road?  The view of course.  Keepin' it between the lines.
This was a very good week in a number of ways.  I had some good stuff happen with work, and I did really well with my fitness program.  I even played a little volleyball and a little basketball on Friday night.  It all culminated with a fun time on a date with my wife last night, and a great walk in the warm sunshine today. 

Last night almost was a bust.  We had planned to leave the house in time to be at Outback Steakhouse at 5pm.  Well, I thought Nancy was doing something and I was waiting on her, while at the same time she was waiting on me.  Long story short, we were both waiting on each other and we wasted a half hour.  So, when we got to Outback, there was a 90 minute wait.  On down the road we went.  Lots of traffic.  Lots of restaurants with packed parking lots.  We even tried our reliable La Trattoria in Greenwood where we have always been able to get into...NOPE...reservations only.  I was getting pretty upset at myself.  Finally, we decided to try a newer place on the south side of Indy called the Fireside.  There was a short wait, but not bad.  We got in.  Food was great!  We had a great time together.  All's well that ends well...right?

During the week, I had to drive back to Ann Arbor, Michigan in order to make a presentation to a number of managers from our entire North American management team.  Yep, just a little bit of pressure.  The presentation was on Thursday, but I drove up on Wednesday afternoon.  My boss' boss told me to be there by 5pm so I could go with the group on a charter bus to the Detroit Redwings hockey game.  "Don't worry about getting any dinner.  We'll have sandwiches on the bus."  Oh, great.  There goes the diet for the week.  Turns out it wasn't bad.  They were small deli style sandwiches.  Plus, I avoided the stadium food and the White Castles that we made a detour for on the ride back to the hotel.  All in all, I was fairly well disciplined on the trip, and I really enjoyed the hockey game.  It's more fun to watch in person than it is on the TV...for sure.

And the discipline paid off!!!!!  Here's this week's report.

Weight:  256.4 lbs.  Down 2.6 lbs for the week!!!!!  Down 13.6 lbs since January 1st!

I am so close to that 255 mark.  Maybe next week.  I have some obstacles again this week, as I always do, but we'll see.

Total Mileage Completed:  62.5 miles
Percentage of the Goal:  3.11%
Miles to Go:  1948.5

I walked 4.8 miles today.  It was beautiful outside.  The sun was shining.  And, I could still feel my chin when I got done.  That was a real plus.

Enough reporting. 

I'm planning another post for tomorrow....for my girls...for Valentine's Day. 

See you on the road.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

WMBO-Fitness Update-Week Five

This is the first update of the creek picture.  Not much has changed since the beginning of January.

Winter has been hard on this mailbox.  A snowplow knocked it over, but notice that it is mounted in a 5-gallon bucket.  That's because a vehicle took it and the fence out back in December.  What you can't see is that it also took out a fence on the other side of the road, needled its way through some trees in someone's yard, and then came back across the road to do this damage.

Concrete Fence Posts.  These had to be expensive to put in, and they've got to be really old.  I can't say I've ever seen them anywhere else before.

I thought I'd throw in a picture of where I'd rather be doing my walking.  Waikiki Beach is wonderful this time of year!
Update Time!!!!
This was another travel week for me.  I left town before the ice storm started on Monday and drove with my boss to Dayton, Ohio.  The ice caught up with us overnight there, and it took about 30 minutes to get enough ice off the doors and windows in order to drive across the street to Bob Evans for breakfast.  After we were done in Dayton, we drove south and then west to Owensboro, Kentucky where we spent the next two days and missed the balance of the storm.

Why do I tell you all this?  I guess just to let you know that I had more travel to try to work my walks and my eating around.  It is always harder to eat right when you are traveling on business and eating in restaurants for every meal.  I stayed pretty well on the program I've created for myself...I just had a little too much of some of the stuff. 

I do have one place to recommend in Owensboro.  Mostly, we ate at chains, but on Wednesday night, we went to the Old Hickory Barbeque.  Every local that I've spoken to says it's the best place in town.  Check it out if you're ever in the area.  Here's a link to their Facebook page:

I finally broke down during this week's travels and used the treadmill for some of my miles.  One cool thing is that I actually jogged a little on Wednesday night.  Other than running the bases for softball last fall, I haven't really tried to run much since my surgery.  It felt okay.  I definitely need to build up the strength.

Oh, one more thing before I get on with the specifics.  I need to make a confession.  I ate like a thoroughbred stallion last weekend!  My wife even say something like, "You might want to think about slowing down."  I guess I got a little carried away; especially at Bravo's on Saturday night when they brought me the biggest stinkin' piece of lasagna I've ever seen, and I ATE THE WHOLE THING!  The waiter ever was surprised.  His comment:  "You ate the whole thing?!  That usually doesn't happen!"  My response to the my inlaws (who were buying), my wife, and my brother-in-law after he walked away:  "Good thing for him that I'm not the one leaving the tip!"

Good news though....I still lost a little weight this last week!

Here are the details:

Weight: 259.0 lbs
I lost just four tenths of a pound this week, but it was still DOWN.  Overall, I've lost 11 pounds, and I've been down at least a little every week.

Total Mileage Completed:  53.8 miles
Percentage of Goal Completed: 2.68%
Miles to Go: 1957.2

I've still got a long way to go, and a good deal of weight to lose, but...slow and steady wins the race.  I don't mind the slower weight loss as long as I stay on the downward track.  After all, I'm not trying to win a Biggest Loser contest or anything.

My goal for this week is to stay away from large plates of lasagna.

See you on the road.